President Bush has revealed details of an interim report on Iraq, which paints a mixed picture of the Baghdad government’s progress, four years after the US-led invasion. Of 18 benchmarks set by Congress, the Iraqi government was rated satisfactory on eight; two were mixed; and eight were unsatisfactory. Bush said: “Those who believe that the battle in Iraq is lost will likely point to the unsatisfactory performance on some of the political benchmarks. Those of us who believe the battle in Iraq can, and must, be won see the satisfactory performance on several of the security benchmarks as a cause for optimism.”
The President said Baghdad had provided three Iraqi Brigades for joint security operations, and had allocated money for reconstruction. On the downside, the administration has not legislated to share oil revenues, and has not ensured security forces enforce the law evenly. President Bush says he will wait until September, when the full progress report goes to Congress, before making any decision on US strategy in Iraq.